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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner26/07/2006

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 88 mins

Beautifully shot and impressively acted, this definitely has its moments but it runs out of ideas before the end.

What's it all about?
Jamel Debbouze (from Amelie and Asterix and Cleopatra) plays Andre, a small-time Parisian con-man whose luck has just run out with the local loan sharks (Gilbert Melki and Serge Riaboukine). With huge debts and nowhere to turn, he decides to throw himself into the Seine, but just as he's about to jump, he meets Angela (Rie Rassmussen), a tall leggy blonde who jumps into the water ahead of him.

When Andre rescues Angela, she decides to repay him by helping him out of his current predicament. It soon becomes clear that she's his guardian angel, but that doesn't stop Andre from falling in love with her.

The Good
The film looks terrific - Besson shoots his beloved Paris in gorgeous black and white photography that recalls both Wings of Desire and It's A Wonderful Life, both of which Angel-A happily steals from. There's also a lot of humour in the film, particularly in the constant bickering between the main characters.

Debbouze and Rassmussen make a superbly mismatched couple; she towers over him (the poster deliberately emphasises this) and he scuttles around at her feet. Despite their differences, however, there's a surprising chemistry between them that works well.

The Bad
The main problem with the film is that it starts to lose its way in the final scenes, as if Besson knew how he wanted the film to end, but wasn't too sure about how to get there.

In addition, it's never quite made clear just how Andre's problems are actually solved, given the solutions that Angela comes up with.

Worth seeing?
Angel-A is a quirky fantasy-romance that's worth seeing for its photography and performances but the story itself is a little disappointing, despite its strong premise.

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Content updated: 15/12/2019 06:52

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